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Essential Powder Coating Supplies by Industry – By Bruce Chirrey

All right. You have decided to start powder coating. For most of you, this is an exciting and scary time. With the purchase of the powder equipment and the arranging of where to put it, you probably haven’t had a lot of time to think about the small stuff. So this article will give you some basic supplies tips that will get you coating faster. There are also so industry specific supplies or requirements to consider, but that will be at the end of the article.

Basic Supplies

Some supplies are fairly self-explanatory. If you are blasting to clean your parts, you will need some sand, garnet, or shot to run through the machine. Don’t buy a lot at first of any specific brand or size because you might wind up switching materials after a week. Buying the minimum amount to test your cleaning process is usually the best idea. The same goes for pretreatment chemicals, if you plan to use them. Most suppliers of chemicals will sell you a small amount to try before you commit to a large order. Sometimes they will even provide small samples for free. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a free sample.

Powder Coated Parts On RackAfter you have decided how to clean your parts, you will need to hang them in order to transport powder coated parts from the powder booth to the oven with out rubbing the powder off. Racks can be purchased or home made depending on your metal fabrication skills. If you are buying or making, the most important part of a rack is the wheels. Make sure you have metal casters at the bottom of the rack, that can withstand 450 degree heat. Order or make enough racks that you have at least one rack per finishing step. One in blasting ready for loading, one in the powder booth, one in the oven, and one in cool down or in your off load area. You don’t need that many to start powder coating and you may want to test one or two rack set-ups before you commit to buying or making four or more.

While you are experimenting with your rack design, try some different hooks. Get some samples from hook manufacturers or make some hooks using some bar stock and a wire/pipe bender. Most manufacturers do not use the first type of hook they try. You want a hook that will not get in the way of the powder, that will support the part, and be conductive for a proper grounding of the part. Plan on replacing or cleaning hooks every 5-6 uses. The reason for that is to keep a good ground on the part so that the powder does not fall off easily when moved or when a draft of air hits a powdered part.

Air cleanliness is very important to powder coating. Make sure you have a good oil/water separator on your incoming air line to make sure the powder is clean before it hits your powder gun and the powder that is being applied to your parts. A dedicated compressor with an air drier is ideal, but a decent filter on your air line will stop moisture from hitting your powder.

Now that you have clean parts on racks, they are ready to be powder coated. Most new powder coaters start with polyester powder coating. Polyester powder is user friendly, durable inside and outside, fairly inexpensive (except for wild colors and effects), and cures in an oven reliably without a lot of fine tuning. All powder companies have standard color cards that you can order from that cover most industry colors. If you know exactly what powder you will be using, then get a weeks worth of production quantity at a time. Most powder companies have 2-3 days shipping times on standard colors.

Powder Coating GunsWhile you are ordering powder, don’t forget to get some extra booth filters. One set of the first layer of filtration should do, be they filter squares or blankets. The other filters like bag or HEPA filters should not wear out very fast and can be ordered when needed. Remember not to “blow out” dirty filters with compressed air. That will cause holes in the filters and allow powder to get to the secondary filters faster than it should. Although the booth will pull most of the powder into the filters, operator masks are still required. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Washington, powder coating workers must wear no less than what is called an “N95,” NIOSH-approved respirator (otherwise known as a dust mask).

Depending on the powder gun you have purchased, there will be different wear parts to keep on hand to keep you gun spraying properly. Powder pump(venturi) nozzles, gun tips, and extra hoses are the most common extra powder coating gun supplies to keep around. The nozzles are near the pick-up tube and are necessary to keep the powder flowing without surging. They are plastic, so powder will eventually wear them out by cutting into the side. If you see a groove being cut into a nozzle or if the nozzle starts to look oval in the middle, change it out. Gun tips typically don’t wear out, but operators do drop guns accidentally so it’s a good idea to have a spare or two. Hoses  can get holes, be run over, get cut, or be melted by a hot rack. I’d have a couple around just in case. Some folks keep an extra set of hoses for color changes.

Blast RoomsWhile you are in the powder booth area, there are a few other things that might be good to have around. Silicone plugs and high temperature tape will keep powder out of areas or off surfaces that you don’t want powder coating on. Bolt holes and friction surfaces are a couple of places you would want to keep powder away from. A box of cheap ear plugs are good to keep in the powder area. Safety-wise it’s a good idea to wear ear plugs in a noisy environment like a spray booth. Unused ear plugs are also great hose scrubbers for using between color changes. By using compressed air, you can shoot an earplug through a powder hose to “scrub” stubborn powder off of the interior hose walls.

Before you start moving racks in and out of the oven, you will want to invest in some high temperature gloves or mitts. 400 degrees F is pretty hot and will burn you if you don’t take precautions. Keep some high temperature grease close to grease the bearings of the fan in the oven.

mek-solution-for-powder-coating-testingAfter your parts have cooled down from being baked, it is a good idea to regularly check your finish to make sure it meets your quality standards. The easiest test is an MEK rub test. By getting some MEK and some q-tips, you can spot check your parts to see if you are getting enough cure. 20 double rubs will let you know if you have enough cure. Adhesion testing is also done fairly easy although you will want to check it on a scrap piece of metal instead of a part. Use a utility knife and some sticky tape to do a cross cut with about 5 cuts each way. Apply the tape to the cross cut and then pull up the tape. If any squares come up you need to look at your metal preparation or your cure. The final tool in a basic quality control box is a dry film thickness gauge. Be sure and get one that will measure steel and aluminum. Checking powder thickness is important for ensuring durability and to reduce unnecessary powder waste.

Those are the basic supplies or additions that every industry should think about incorporating in their process. Next up are some additional supplies or different materials that you might need for specific industries.

Architectural Aluminum

All architectural aluminum finishes will have to be pretreated with a Zirconium based pretreat and something to take off the oxidation of the aluminum. The powder used for extruded aluminum is usually of two different qualities. The first is Superdurable Polyester AAMA 2604 quality. This is what most architects will specify for the exterior of buildings. KYNAR® AAMA 2605 quality is the most durable exterior powder for powder, however, it is very specific on how the pretreatment must be applied. KYNAR® can only be applied over an automatic pretreatment system specially designed for these 10-30 year warranty finishes. Since the warranty is so extensive, an on-site boiling water test is usually added to the quality control daily checks. A color computer or unit is usually required because customers need verification that the parts produced will match other components done at different manufacturers.

Heavy Exterior Equipment

Heavy equipment suppliers usually will need upgraded exterior durable finishes. This starts in the pretreatment. While a one stage pressure wand may work in most cases, there may be additional steps depending on the end customers specifications. 3-5 stage systems may be needed to insure proper salt-spray requirements. A wash stage, rinse stage, phosphate (iron/zirconium/zinc) stage, rinse stage, and sealer stage is a common set-up. Additional testing like impact or salt spray are usually done on-site or by the powder suppliers lab.

Pipe

Powder coating industrial pipe is an interesting process since they usually heat the pipe to curing temperature and then spray or dip the pipe with powder. This uses a specific kind of powder called Fusion Bonded Epoxy powder. Since the pipe goes underground, the epoxy gives the best durability versus rust, chemicals, and moisture. However, if the pipe is exposed to the sun, polyester powder will have to be applied over the epoxy to keep the coating from degrading due to the UV rays.

Marine Equipment

Marine equipment like cranes on ships are the toughest environments for any coating to survive. Daily exposure to salt water and extreme temperature changes can wreck any finish. The pretreatment will have to be a 5-7 stage zinc phosphate system followed by a zinc-rich epoxy powder primer. Then a urethane topcoat will be applied to allow the best flexibility and UV resistance protection available. This is not a cheap system and will need regular salt spray and QUV testing by the manufacturer or their powder supplier.

Automotive

Automotive part manufacturers are usually grouped into under-hood part and exterior part suppliers. Under-hood parts are usually coated with epoxy powder due to the great chemical resistance epoxy provides. Since chemical resistance is so important, regular watch glass checks with hydraulic and brake fluid are not uncommon. Exterior parts are usually urethane or superdurable polyester powder. Gloss and color are very important for automotive manufacturers so daily gloss checks with a gloss meter and color checks from a color unit are usually required. Flexibility and dent resistance is also checked by having impact drop testing and a conical mandrel bend test.

Military

Military powder coating is fairly new. They have a two coat system usually starting with an epoxy powder primer and a CARC powder topcoat. CARC stands for chemical agent resistant coating. It is designed to be resistant to chemical warfare chemicals and also aids in the decontamination process if the vehicle is exposed. All the parts need to be pretreated with zirconium. A gloss meter is usually required to make sure the low gloss is within standard.

Summary

Developing your supplies list to tie into your powder process. Don’t be afraid to try different suppliers or qualities of each item. All of your supplies should contribute to a more efficient process and a quality finish. Try and compare each item apples to apples to see how much use you get out of it and if it helps your end customer. Keeping good notes on when you used an item and how much life you really got out of a particular spare part will guide you on keeping costs low and quality high.

Welcome to BoothsandOvens.com’s Tips & Tricks!

Every month or so we’ll talk about simple tips and tricks you can use to get the most out of your finishing equipment. Our kick-off article this month explains what equipment you’ll need if you want to start your own powder coating business.

The Basic Equipment

Whether you want to do one set of wheels at a time or thousands of parts per day, you will need a powder spray gun, a powder spray booth, and a powder curing oven. This equipment is essential if you want to get professional quality results.

The Powder Spray Gun uses compressed air to spray a cloud of powder onto the part. It applies an electrostatic charge to the powder, which causes the powder to stick to the part (because it is grounded). The powder is either stored in a metal hopper that is connected to the gun by a hose system, or a pick-up tube attached to the gun draws the powder directly from the box it was shipped in from the powder supplier.

These two types of guns are called Hopper-Fed Powder Spray Guns or Box-Fed Powder Spray Guns. A third type of powder spray gun is available. It draws powder from a small container attached directly to the gun body. This type of gun is called a “cup gun,” and is typically used only for hobby or laboratory applications. Gema, Nordson, and Wagner are all well-known manufacturers of professional quality powder spray guns.

Powder Spray Booth ConstructionThe Powder Spray Booth is a ventilated enclosure that keeps the powder cloud contained so it won’t get into the rest of the shop. The spray booth also gives the operator the lighting and air movement he needs to efficiently powder coat parts. The part being coated needs to be well lit. Air movement is important because it causes the cloud of sprayed powder to move away from the parts–allowing the painter to easily see what he is working on.

Booths are typically designed with an exhaust that pulls air out of the booth and passes it through a filter system. Booths usually have either a cartridge filtration system that uses pleated, tubular filters, or an array of disposable filters, known as a disposable filtration system. Booths with cartridge filters are more expensive, but the filters last for a long time. Booths that use disposable filters are much less expensive, but the operator has to replace the filters on a regular basis. This costs money and adds to down-time.

Either cartridge filters or disposable filters can be used on powder spray booths that have a spray-to-waste design. These booths are intended for situations where the powder that doesn’t stick to the parts will be discarded. Most small manufacturers, fabricators, and powder coating shops use these types of booths. If the coater wants to reuse the powder that did not stick to the parts, he will need to have a booth that features a powder reclamation system. These systems use cartridge filters and usually include a way to pump spent powder from a collection area to a device that reconditions the used powder and blends it with virgin powder. The blended powder is returned to the powder spray gun and applied to parts. Reliant Finishing Systems is a well-known manufacturer of powder spray booths.

Electric Powder coating OvensThe Powder Curing Oven heats parts after they are coated with powder. The powder that was sprayed onto them melts and flows together. This produces a resilient and uniform finish once it cools. Ovens suitable for use in a professional powder coating shop will typically have a maximum operating temperature of 450°F or higher. There are two main types of curing ovens, electric curing ovens and gas-fueled curing ovens. Electric ovens are usually smaller in size (typically 6’ x 6’ x 6’ or smaller) because of the extremely large circuit sizes needed to support electric ovens that are roomier. Gas-fueled ovens can be configured to operate on either LP gas or natural gas. They can be very large in size and are typically the most cost-effective ovens to operate.

A third type of powder curing oven exists that uses infrared emitters to heat the surface of the parts. They are known as IR curing ovens. These ovens are less common because they are very expensive and the infrared heating doesn’t work well with parts that have complex shapes (because the infrared rays cannot reach the entire surface of the part). Sometimes a group of infrared emitters are arranged so that they pre-heat parts before they enter a conventional oven, in order to shorten the total curing time needed.

Because the most common way for most shops to perform powder coating is to batch their tasks and coat multiple parts (or multiple jobs) all at the same time, the ovens used for this process are typically called batch ovens. In higher-volume production shops, the oven may be part of an automated coating line where a conveyor moves parts through the oven at a pre-set rate after they have been coated.

Improving Results with Pretreatment

Equipment that helps you clean off dirt, rust, grease, oils and old paint before you apply a powder coated finish is called Pretreatment Equipment. As a general rule, the cleaner and more uniform the surface of the part is before powder coating is applied, the longer the powder coated finish will last.

Pretreatment usually comes in two forms for powder coating: blasting (usually with sand, steel shot, or special blasting media like aluminum oxide) and washing (usually using detergents and/or chemicals). Blasting helps remove scaling and other debris to get a clean surface for the powder, and it helps add texture to the surface of the parts so the powder can adhere better. Washing can be done using steam, heated pressure washing, or spraying at room temperature. Most systems apply a chemical mixture that helps remove oils and solvents from the parts, and may also make the surface of the parts more receptive to the powder when it is applied. As with blasting, this results in a stronger powder coated finish.

For more information on pretreatment, check out the Pretreatment Primer, here.

Plan for Success

Make a plan for your shop. Determine your throughput goals and lay out the path that parts will follow as they are coated. Let this plan guide you when you size the equipment and select where you will install it. Estimate how many parts per day you need to coat and how big they will be, then work with a powder coating specialist to determine how large your equipment needs to be.  Measure carefully and take into account the space you have to work with before you order powder coating equipment. This simple step can make a big difference in the success of your powder coating process and can save you days or weeks of headaches by preventing installation issues.

For more information on sizing your equipment and planning out your new workspace, check out the Oven Size Guide and Booth Size Guide.

For more information on starting out as a professional powder coater, check out our in-depth guide, the Beginner’s Guide to Powder Coating or feel free to contact us at (256) 513-6139. We’ll be happy to help you get started!

Reliant Finishing Systems Announces “Green Aware Initiative”

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Reliant Finishing Systems announced today that they have expanded their commitment to going “green” with a program that involves significant revisions to the company’s packaging methods. The plan, known as the Reliant “Green Aware Initiative,” focuses on a new method of crating the equipment manufactured by the company. It will dramatically decrease the amount of lumber being used and replace it with recyclable scrap material.

This is Reliant’s largest step to date towards decreasing the company’s environmental impact. The company examined their packaging material’s complete life-cycle beyond consumer use to disposal. “This initiative is being undertaken across the company,” said Mr. John Thomason, Reliant’s Executive Vice President. “The changes we are making now not only reduce the amount of new packaging materials we must use, but also help assure that the products we manufacture arrive in perfect condition.”

Mr. Manolo Diaz-Marta, who operates Spray Booth Supplies (http://www.sprayboothsupplies.com), believes that Reliant’s Green Aware Initiative will reap long-term benefits for everyone. “Powder coating is a much ‘greener’ process than traditional painting, and Reliant’s equipment is the most fuel-efficient on the market. I feel that Reliant is taking the next logical step by addressing their company’s entire environmental impact, from manufacturing to delivery. By implementing this change, Reliant will be able to reduce tons of incidental waste on an annual basis. We’ve enjoyed being a leading online outlet for Reliant’s equipment. The advantages of their products are easy to sell and the value of their new packaging method is obvious,” he said.

Reliant’s new plan is the direct result of a series of customer service surveys conducted by the company. In an effort to improve customer service, the company tasked sales support personnel to establish on-going dialogues with clients as they began to install their new equipment. Certain behaviors were noted as being consistent from client to client. One of these behaviors caught the attention of Reliant’s management team. “We determined that our conventional wooden crating was typically dismantled and disposed of by customers immediately after our products were unloaded. This seemed like a terrible waste. Finding a better way to package our products became a top priority,” said Mr. Michael Schuerer, President of Reliant Finishing Systems. “We felt that this was an issue where we could provide leadership within our industry, reduce our impact on the environment and generate tangible benefits for our clients. We’ve developed a revised version of our logo to remind our employees, distributors and clients of Reliant’s commitment to increased awareness and on-going improvement. The changes we’ve made have led to a win-win situation that is hard to find in today’s business environment,” he said.

Reliant’s Green Aware Initiative involves significant changes to the company’s crating methods. The company has replaced a portion of the lumber used in their crates with sections of sheet metal scrap. This also reduces the crates’ overall weight, which can decrease shipping costs. As an added benefit, end-users typically sell the steel crating material back to recyclers, rather than discarding wooden material as trash. The decision to crate certain components in a vertical fashion rather than build large, flat crates eliminated the need for plywood crate lids. The components are now secured to the crate frames using small sections of strapping material. On a typical project, approximately four to five hundred pounds of crating lumber has been eliminated as a result of the initiative.

Mr. Todd Hicks, Reliant Finishing System’s Production Manager, pointed out one of the most satisfying changes. “We have replaced our smaller wooden hardware crates with inexpensive plastic storage bins. This drastically reduced our hardware shipping weights and reduced our manpower needs. Due to this change alone, we anticipate saving thousands of dollars each year. Also, the wooden crates ended up being broken down and incinerated or tossed in the garbage. Now our customers save and reuse the plastic bins,” he said.

Reliant Finishing Systems is a U.S. manufacturer of high-performance finishing equipment that specializes in powder coating systems. Beginning this month, all Reliant curing ovens (https://www.reliantfinishingsystems.com/powder-coating-equipment/powder-coating-ovens/) and powder coating spray booths will be packaged and shipped according to the guidelines of the company’s Green Aware Initiative.

Reliant Launches What Is Powder Coating.com

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Reliant launches WhatIsPowderCoating.com a research and resource tool for potential clients and customers to familiarize themselves with powder coating processes and the basic uses of powder, coating equipment, and powder spray guns.

The site covers the basic definition of powder coating, the differences between conventional wet paint finishing and powder coating, and provides a glossary of common coating and industry terms. In addition, What Is Powder Coating also has a series of articles entitled Start Powder Coating which outlines a number of reasons why powder coating is a profitable way to increase your business, even in difficult economic times. The site also features a growing finishing FAQ and a help section for customers and coating enthusiasts to ask their coating questions.

Please visit What Is Powder Coating and suggest any additional content in the comments below, or post your suggestions to our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Choose Reliant Finishing for your Custom Coating System

Custom Coating System

If you are struggling to determine which coating system is the best on the market then look no further than Reliant Finishing Systems. Powder coating systems can be very expensive, but at Reliant we ensure that you will be getting a top of the line coating system at an affordable price.

No matter what you are in search of, whether it is an affordable batch system or a turn-key automated finishing line, Reliant will help you choose the best product to meet your needs. Our modular equipment design allows for unrivaled customization and configurations. We provide custom equipment solutions at a fraction of the cost to you. Reliant Finishing Systems leads the industry with the most accurate lead times which means you will get the equipment you need on time and within budget.

Our experienced team at Reliant will be happy to assist you with which powder coating system will be the best option for you. With years of experience delivering unique custom coating equipment solutions, our dedicated staff of engineering and support technicians can help design and provide a system to meet your need.

We provide custom coating tools for all sorts of business and government projects including aviation, large industrial, custom manufacturing and military applications.

Fill out the form on the custom coating page if you require your own custom powder coating equipment solution. For more information on powder coating systems call Reliant Finishing Systems at 888-770-0021.

New Reliant Finishing Systems Updates All Existing Models, Adds New Product Lines

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New Reliant Finishing Systems Updates All Existing Models, Adds New Product Lines

Reliant Finishing Systems is proud to announce our updated and expanded 2014-2015 equipment catalog. Reliant now offers a wide variety of equipment for multiple finishing applications in both batch and automated configurations and can be built for almost any sized requirement. All of our models have been reviewed and updated to provide the most capable and efficient finishing equipment on the market today. Revised specifications and more accurate lead times are provided on all our existing models, and expanded offerings are available in a number of categories. In addition, Reliant has added a number of new products for 2014-2015, including Composite Curing Ovens, Media Blast Enclosures, Manual Wash Stations and an expanded line of high- and low-temperature Electric Ovens as standard items.
2014-2015 Reliant Finishing Systems Powder Coating Equipment Catalog Overview

Powder Coating Ovens (PCO) : Our most popular item with standard sizes available as small as 6’x’6’x5′ and up to 12’x12’x’50’. Available in natural gas and liquid propane gas configurations. Top-mounted heat units, tunnel-style configurations with double doors, and fabric roll-up doors rated up to 450°F are also available on all standard oven models. Custom-programmed touchscreen control panels and tubular steel doorframe upgrades also available.

Powder Spray Enclosures (PSE): Powder spray enclosures with multi-stage filtration designed specifically for powder coating. Available in multiple sizes in standard, crossflow and double-crossflow configurations. Filtered-doors, personnel doors, VFD upgrade, white-metal construction, and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration all available options.

Oven & Booth Extension Kits: Extension kits now available for existing Reliant Ovens (PCO) in 2.5′ and 5′ increments and Reliant Spray Enclosures (PSE) in 5′ increments. Certain restrictions apply.

Electric Curing Ovens (ECO): An expanded line of smaller electric curing ovens perfect for small shops, product prototyping and educational uses. Available for single or three-phase power. Low-temperature output electric curing ovens also available standard. Recirculation fan upgrade also available.

Powder Spray Walls (PSW): A complete line of space-saving Powder Spray Walls provide excellent air-filtration while conserving shop space. VFD upgrade and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration available.

Blast Rooms and Media Blast Enclosures (MBE): For your blasting needs, Reliant now offers a complete line of Blast Rooms and Media Blast Enclosures. VFD upgrade, personnel doors, and True 3-Stage HEPA filtration options available. Cartridge module filtration, reclaim units, and blast pots available on request.

Industrial Wash Stations (MWS): Reliant now offers complete range of Manual Wash Stations, constructed out of stainless steel and ready to meet your pretreatment and wash requirements. VFD upgrade, personnel doors, and stainless steel enclosure doors all available options.
Complete Automated Finishing Systems

In addition to our wide range of batch equipment, Reliant also specializes in complete turn-key solutions for automated finishing systems. We offer custom automated finishing systems that feature manual or powered conveyors in floor-mounted and overhead configurations optimized specifically for your site. No matter your process requirement, Reliant can meet and exceed your expectations.
Composite Curing Solutions

Reliant is now proud to offer composite curing ovens in a wide range of standard sizes . Please contact your Reliant Finishing Systems representative for more information.
Custom Finishing Equipment Designed For Your Requirements

Does your project require a custom powder coating equipment solution? Reliant Finishing Systems can deliver. Our modular equipment designs allow for unrivaled customization and unique process-specific configurations. They also allow us to offer custom equipment solutions at a fraction of the cost of many of our competitors. As an added benefit, by using a modular design as the foundation for a customized appliance Reliant can often shave weeks off the manufacturing lead-time. Contact your authorized Reliant representative today for more information.
Full-Service Installation, Start-up and Technical Support Available

Reliant Finishing Systems now also full-service installation and technical support on all systems, batch or automated. Reliant -authorized installation crews can reduce your construction and start-up times by weeks. No matter what, all Reliant equipment is sold standard with start-up and calibration from an authorized factory technician to make sure your equipment is up and running smoothly.

Reliant Finishing Systems to Exhibit at Fabtech Expo Atlanta, Nov 11-13

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Reliant Finishing Systems today announced its planned exhibition at the upcoming FABTECH Expo, November 11 – 13, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. FABTECH is the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America. This year, FABTECH plannersexpect over 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors.

Reliant Finishing Systems will be exhibiting their powder coating equipment solutions at Booth B313.

Headquartered in Alabama, Reliant Finishing Systems is a leading powder coating equipment manufacturer. The company manufactures industrial automated finishing lines and batch powder coating ovens, spray booths, media blast rooms, and manual wash stations. Reliant Finishing Systems also builds customized finishing solutions that are tailored to the intended workspace, and provides installation and technical support as well.

FABTECH is held each year for metal workers to meet with suppliers, learn cutting-edge industry news and developments, and facilitate relationships thatimprove metal forming and fabricating. FABTECH also hosts educational sessions, keynote speakers, and panel discussions.

“FABTECH is an excellent way to build relationships between buyers and suppliers of finishing solutions,” said Josh Strickland, Executive Director of Marketing and Brand Development. “We’ve just introduced a number brand new products as well as significant upgrades to our entire product line. We’re really excited to show off these new offerings and improvements at FABTECH.”

About Reliant Finishing Systems

Reliant Finishing Systems is the fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturer in North America. Based in Somerville, Alabama, Reliant designs and manufactures automated finishing systems, as well as popular “batch” coating systems, curing ovens, powder spray booths, media blast rooms and custom-manufactured finishing equipment for powder coating operations of all sizes.

Batch System vs Automated Line: Tips to Choose the Right Powder Coating System

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The powder coating experts at Reliant Finishing Systems have years of experience manufacturing and installing powder coating equipment. One of the most common questions they get asked is whether to use a manual batch-type system or an automated line. Batch systems and automated lines use different approaches to powder coating, each with their own advantages. Reliant recently began distributing comparison guidelines to help business people choose the right powder coating system.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, an “automated system” (or automated line) is a powder coating system that moves parts automatically through the various steps of the powder coating process. These steps usually include using a chemical wash to prepare the surface of the parts, drying the parts, applying the powder coating media, curing the powder coated finish onto the parts, then allowing them to cool. The parts typically move in one direction from device to device and these all of these tasks are done to different parts at the same time. A “batch system” allows the operator to manually prepare and accumulate parts, then coat and cure the parts in batches. The parts are typically moved from one device to another by hand using carts.

These are some of Reliant’s most useful tips for deciding whether a batch or automated system best suits a coater’s needs:

Consider the volume of work and the nature of the parts being coated. If you’re dealing with thousands of similarly sized parts per shift, an automated system is probably your best bet. The more varied the shape and size of the parts, the less advantage an automated system typically offers. A batch system provides significant benefits in terms of equipment cost and workflow versatility, but relies on workers to move parts, prep parts and apply powder coating media. So, if the volume of parts is quite large, the advantages of a batch system are lost.

Determine how quickly you’ll need parts to be powder coated. If the coating process outpaces the manufacturing process, a batch system is ideal. If the powder coating process delays output, an automated system may help. You can coat large quantities of similar items quickly since parts don’t have to be handled between stages. If the automated line is designed for rapid throughput, a constant flow of parts can be coated at a rate that usually can’t be matched by manual techniques.

Evaluate floor space. Batch systems generally take up less room, so they’re better for businesses that can’t spare extra space. Batch systems sometimes use one oven to do the work of both drying and curing parts, which further reduces cost and saves on floor space. By using ovens where the parts move back and forth multiple times inside relatively short but wide enclosures, some automated lines fit into surprisingly tight spaces. But, most automated lines involve restricted access to at least some key components, especially in cramped spaces. This drives maintenance and repair costs up.

Budget is always a primary consideration. Batch systems are significantly cheaper than comparable automated lines, usually costing less than half as much, so if your budget is tight it might be best to start with a batch system. Batch equipment requires more manpower, but also tends to have lower maintenance costs. Batch systems can also provide lower operating costs because you only use equipment as it is needed. With automated systems there is almost always a constant process of coating taking place, so relative operating costs can increase if the system isn’t being used to full capacity. No matter what type of system is used, Reliant advises coaters to have a plan for growth and size their equipment accordingly

Reliant Finishing Systems is devoted to making sure every client gets dependable, fairly priced equipment that perfectly suits his or her needs. For additional powder coating information, visit WhatisPowderCoating.com.

About Reliant Finishing Systems

Reliant Finishing Systems is the fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturer in North America. Based in Somerville, Alabama, Reliant designs and manufactures automated finishing lines for industrial use, as well as popular “batch” coating systems, curing ovens, powder spray booths, media blast rooms and custom-manufactured finishing equipment for powder coating operations of all sizes.

Reliant Relaunches Whatispowdercoating.com

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Reliant Finishing Systems announced today they have redesigned and relaunched one of their satellite sites, Whatispowdercoating.com. The site is designed to be the first stop customers take when familiarizing themselves with the powder coating process. The site redesign includes a brand new layout, graphical updates and an entirely rewritten content section aimed at newcomers to the powder coating market.

“The site has been redesigned and rewritten so that the information is easily accessible to people with little to no powder coating knowledge,” commented Mr. Josh Strickland, Director of Brand Management for Reliant Finishing Systems. “There is a quite a bit of information online that thoroughly explains the powder coating process. Unfortunately, most of the available information is very technical and difficult for the layperson to approach. We’d like to bridge the gap and provide an easy jumping on point for people with general powder coating questions.”

The site features content aimed at explaining the powder coating process, the basics of powder coating equipment, and the benefits of powder coating – from reduced environmental impact to increased business revenue. The site also includes tips and guides for beginning coaters and links to other online resources. “Like all informational sites, the process of expanding the available articles is ongoing. Planned future articles include an expanded powder coating FAQ and discussion of the difference between thermoset and thermoplastic powders. The goal is to create a functional knowledge base that is useful to a wide range of powder coating customers and enthusiasts. This relaunch is just the first step in creating that resource, and we welcome feedback and user-generated submissions to help us make this the most useful site it can be.”

Whatispowdercoating.com is an informational site managed and maintained by Reliant Finishing Systems, one of the fastest growing powder coating equipment manufacturers in North America. Based in Somerville, Alabama, Reliant designs and manufactures automated finishing lines for industrial use, as well as batch coating systems, curing ovens, powder spray booths, media blast rooms and custom-manufactured finishing equipment for powder coating operations of all sizes.